Chapel Hill: Obituaries

Arnold J. Lau

Mr. Arnold J. Lau, a resident of Carolina Meadows in Chapel Hill, N.C., died Saturday surrounded by his family. He was 91 years of age, having been born in Newark, N.J. on April 27, 1923.

Mr. Lau attended the public schools of Newark, N.J., and was in his first year at the St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. when Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1942 -1946, he attended and was graduated from the Panzer College of Montclair State University. From 1948 – 1952 he taught physical education and coached varsity sports at Wharton High School and Sparta, N.J. public schools where he met and married his wife, Mary Louise.

In 1952 Mr. Lau became a Special Agent of The United States Secret Service and retired from that agency in 1979 as an Assistant Director. His career included assignments at The White House, various stations across the United States, and duty in Europe and South America. Mr. Lau’s tenure included protection of six presidents. His first was with President Truman, followed immediately with President Eisenhower, and then a blending of criminal investigative work and other protective assignments.

Following President Kennedy’s assassination, Mr. Lau became responsible for the development of new training programs and a training Center in Beltsville, Maryland, a position he held for ten years.

One highlight of his career, which allowed him to head up his own federal agency, was when on loan from the Secret Service, he temporarily acted as Director of the Federal Law Enforcement Academy in Brunswick, Georgia. By prior arrangement he then resumed his regular career work.

Mr. Lau is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Louise (Roy) Lau, his son, Lt. John Lau, formerly of the Carrboro Police Department, a daughter, Nancy Lau Prescott, their spouses, and five grandchildren. Also surviving is a sister, Pearl Lau Battschinger of Sanford, N.C. He was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Ethel Lau of Toms River, N.J., and a brother Elwood, of Miami, FL.

The family will receive visitors from 11 AM to 1 PM on Saturday, March 7th at The Fairways, Carolina Meadows, Chapel Hill.